(Repeats story for wider readership with no change to text)
KUALA LUMPUR/ MUMBAI, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Palm oil prices are
likely to jump in the first half of 2021, three leading industry
analysts said in a webinar on Thursday, as La Nina weather
pattern is set to hit edible oil supplies amid lower soybean
crushing in Argentina and rising sunflower oil prices.
Heavy rainfall brought on by La Nina has started to disrupt
output in Southeast Asian palm producing countries and will
bring down global supply this year, said analyst James Fry.
However, the rain and better estate maintenance due to
current high palm prices will significantly boost supply in
2021, said Fry, who heads commodities consultancy LMC
"Look out for a La Nina-induced price rally from January
2021 with soyoil leading the way," said Dorab Mistry, director
of Indian consumer goods company Godrej International.
Vegetable oil prices next year should be higher due to
improved demand and tighter supply of soft oils such as soyoil
and sunflower oil, Mistry said.
Thomas Mielke, the executive director of Oil World, forecast
Indonesian crude palm oil price in January-June 2021 would rise
to $700 a tonne.
Malaysia's benchmark crude palm oil contract has
slumped about 7% so far this year, to 2,888 ringgit ($695.90) a
tonne on Thursday, as the COVID-19 pandemic hurt demand.
Losses were pared by a recent rally in edible oil prices due
to stockpiling by top buyer China for food security measures.
The rally in sunflower oil due to a lower crop has also been
making soyoil and palm oil attractive to price sensitive buyers.
China's stocking policy is expected to continue with fund
buying and, combined with problems in Argentina's soybean
crushing, could further increase palm prices, Mielke said.
"If consumer buying plus funds buying (come together), it is
possible that we temporarily reach 3,200 ringgit ($771.08)," he
Argentina's soy crushing volume is set to drop around 9.5%
this year, as growers in the world's top exporter of processed
soymeal and soyoil hoard beans due to unfavourable prices and
But Fry warned higher palm prices could dampen consumer
demand, especially in lower income countries.
Besides, the higher palm prices cannot sustain without
higher crude prices, he added.
($1 = 4.1500 ringgit)
(Reporting by Mei Mei Chu and Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Mark